iPad Case Review – TwelveSouth BookBook for iPad


Here are a few of my books… in this picture alone there are over 100 different books. 16 of them are of the dead-tree variety. The rest are in the Kindle app on my iPad. Yup, that’s my iPad right in the middle of the picture. It is sitting safe, hidden and secure in its new BookBook for iPad.

The BookBook for iPad is one of the offerings from TwelveSouth. TwelveSouth is the company behind my favorite iPad travel stand, the Compass. (Reviewed here on the site.) While the Compass had a lean modern look to it, the BookBook goes total vintage. It has the look and feel of an Old World book. It is one of the most unusual iPad cases I have tried. Better still, it is a functional case that offers some great features to boot.

Here’s a look…


From Twelvesouth-

BookBook for iPad is a handmade one-of-a-kind, hardback leather case that doubles as a fully adjustable stand. Along with its vintage looks, this case makes iPad feel as if you’re holding a real book, and in many ways you are holding a book. BookBook for iPad forms a safe cocoon around your prized iPad. The hardback cover and spine provide impact protection, while the hard protective inner frame offers crush protection. Hand distressed covers mean no two look alike. As a bonus, the unique design of this case disguises iPad for an extra level of stealthy security.
BookBook for iPad is available in two styles: dark brown cover with black beneath ‘BookBook’ on the spine (Classic Black) and a more vibrant brown cover with red behind ‘BookBook’ on the spine (Vibrant Red).

One of the neat surprises with BookBook for iPad is the fact that it transforms into a fully-adjustable, hands-free stand. How so? By using the oldest trick in the book, a button and string. You’ll find a button on the inside left cover of the case and a leather tassel connected to the other side. To use BookBook for iPad as a stand, fold the two covers backwards to form a “V”, then stretch the tassel under the case and wrap it around the button. Adjusting the length allows you to determine your perfect viewing angle. Then enjoy a movie, your favorite webisodes or a photo slideshow. Now you can see why this will be a bestseller.

Reading books on iPad is pretty cool. Reading books on an iPad tucked into a BookBook for iPad is even cooler because it feels just like holding every book you’ve ever held. BookBook for iPad has a soft, padded, dark chocolate interior that doesn’t distract your eyes when viewing your iPad. That padded interior also keeps your iPad scratch free. BookBook for iPad is a great way to enjoy a much more organic reading experience with iPad.

BookBook for iPad is designed to keep your iPad safe and secure as you shuttle it from place to place. A soft, velvety interior cushions iPad and two supple leather corners and an elastic band hold the tablet in place. Hardback covers with reinforced corners provide impact protection. The tough spine and a hard protective inner frame offer crush protection. Dual zippers seal the deal, while allowing to unzip just enough to sneak in the charging cord or a headphone cable. And finally, the design of the case protects you from looking like everyone else. Talk about a happy ending.

One of the neatest features of BookBook for iPad is the stealthy security it delivers. Tucked inside BookBook, no one will ever see your iPad, even when it’s right under their nose. Sitting on a coffee table, dorm room or desk, BookBook for iPad looks like a vintage piece of literature, not a fancy iPad. It’s a great disguise and a simple way to reduce the risk of your iPad getting stolen.


My Thoughts-

The BookBook truly has the feel of an old book you would find in a musty old mansion library. The distressed leather looks and feels old. It has enough roughness to it that you can almost see someone sitting in a huge chair in front of a blazing fire smoking a pipe and drinking cognac while reading their favorite classic novel.

Seriously, this is THE most unusual and surprisingly pleasing, iPad case I have tried.

Here is the BookBook unzipped and splayed out on the table. As you can see, the seams are tight and straight. The various pieces fit together like a glove… or a rebound book. And because it is made from distressed leather there is nothing uniform about the finish. At the same time, unlike some distressed leather that seems to be trying too hard, this just looks and feels like natural wear and tear.

Here is a close up of the top portion of the binding. I have to admit that, when I first read about the BookBook (there is one for the MacBook Pro too) I thought it sounded a bit kitchy. Seriously, who wants to hide the iPad or laptop in something that looks like an old book??? Having used it for the last few weeks however I can admit I was wrong. It… just… works.

Of course Twelvesouth had to put their logo somewhere on the BookBook and I am pleased to say they did it in the most non-instrusive way possible. In the middle of the back of the BookBook you will find this small, embossed number 12. That’s it. It looks like a nice design feature rather than a logo. Well done Twelvesouth!

Moving inside, the BookBook doesn’t just look and feel good. No, it is a highly functional iPad case too.

On the left side there is a circle of leather. When you first open the BookBook a leather “cord” is wrapped around it. This is a key part of the BookBook’s iPad stand functionality. We’ll return to it in a bit.

On the right side of the BookBook’s interior is the system for holding the iPad inside. There are two leather straps that grab the bottom of the iPad and a piece of elastic that, once the iPad is in the “shoes” stretches over the iPad’s upper portion to hold it in place.

To be honest, this isn’t my favorite way for securing an iPad in a case. It works, and many people like it, but there are other systems I prefer.

It is worth nothing that the leather “shoes” are a tight fit. The iPad needs to be worked into them the first few times you use it. Because of the tight fit this is not a case you can use if there is a shell on the back of the iPad. It will be fine with a Clear-Coat type skin but that is about it.

Here is a shot of the iPad in the BookBook. It is totally accessible in the case. The “shoes” and the elastic are clearly present but don’t get in the way of functionality.

But wait… there’s more…

Although it might not appear to be the case at first, the BookBook also functions as a stand. In fact, the BookBook functions as one of the most adjustable stands I have tried.

Remember that leather “cord” and the circle of leather on the left interior side? Well, once the iPad is in the BookBook you can fold the cover back (don’t worry, this thing is tough and is DESIGNED to be bent backwards), pull the leather cord around to the other side and wrap it around the circle of leather. Voila! instant iPad stand.

Here’s a closeup of the leather circle doing its thing.

And because the angle of the “stand” depends only on how much of the leather cord is between the two sides of the case before it gets wrapped around the circle the angle of the “stand” is entirely up to the iPad owner.

It can be fairly shallow…

…or fairly steep. Your call.

The BookBook totally surprised me. I thought it would be some novelty case for the iPad. I was right… it is a novelty case for the iPad. BUT it is much more. It offers terrific protection when the iPad is inside, is made from high quality leather, it looks great, feels nice in the hand AND offers a flexible stand too. That’s a pretty awesome combination.

I’ve enjoyed using the BookBook tremendously. Sadly, a good thing doesn’t always last. You see, my father-in-law hs been using the same case for HIS iPad (now referred to by my mother-in-law as “MY iPad”) since he first got it in the late spring. He saw the BookBook on my iPad the other night and said, “Is that one for me?” Who says “No” to their wife’s father? Not me… :)

Love this case!

The BookBook is available directly from TwelveSouth in Classic Black or Vibrant Red.

MSRP: $69.99 (currently with free shipping)

What I Like: Looks and feels like an old book; made from gorgeous leather; well-constructed; doubles as a case AND a stand; good protection and highly usable

What Needs Improvement: I’m not in love with the method used to secure the iPad in the BookBook; the leather feet that hold the bottom of the iPad are a bit tight

Categories: Reviews


4 replies

  1. Gear Diary just posted one of the best BookBook for iPad reviews so far: http://bit.ly/aSF5Vm

  2. Now I just need an iPad … RT @andrewbg Gear Diary just posted one of the best BookBook for iPad reviews so far: http://bit.ly/aSF5Vm

  3. Buying this http://bit.ly/aY2CJ6 for my iPad is Freudian slip according to @lenny_ray.An overcompensation for joining the e-side of books.

  4. Can this BookBook ipad cover be used for the iPad2?